Margaritaville Biloxi turns one, hotel plans in the works - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Margaritaville Biloxi turns one, hotel plans in the works

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A year ago, thousands lined up outside Margaritaville waiting to get in. Feelings were flying high. Jimmy Buffett played to the adoring crowd. 

But within weeks, that crowd thinned. Management changes were made, and the casino is moving aggressively with a major addition now. 

"Currently, we're in the feasibility study of determining exactly what type of hotel it's going to be, what level," Margaritaville CEO Doug Shipley said. "It's a very, very exciting time right now. We have a multitude of options that we're currently exploring."

That's not all either.

"We're bringing in more than 100 brand new slots. People want to play where their games are and so we recognized that early on and we're doing several changes to the gaming floor," Shipley explained. 

He also said eating a meal will also be a changing experience. 

"We're currently in the design stages of one of the most magnificent buffets that will be down here on the gulf coast, both in size, scope, and offerings."  

While business was booming at Margaritaville for the first few weeks, it tailed off quickly after that. And casino executives admit, one of the biggest mistakes they made was opening without a players club. 

"One of the things that we had to implement, obviously in a hyper-competitive market and a very mature gaming market, was the players club and rewards and recognition for guests play." 

Marketing the new amenities will be a top priority in the future. 

"We're building our data base, with billboard advertising. We're on TV, radio and print and we're full force ahead," Marketing Vice-President Stacey McKay said.

For the employees, there's new excitement as the casino embarks on year number two.  Katie Dunn is one of them.  

"It was rocky at the beginning, but things are rocking and rolling and we are looking ahead and not back," Dunn exclaimed. 

Casino officials are hoping the changes means fortunes will change as well and more people will take Margaritaville out for a spin. 

Shipley said after plans for the hotel are finalized, construction should being sometime later this year.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.  

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Hall of Fame billiards player Mike Massey using pool to spread the word of God

    Hall of Fame billiards player Mike Massey using pool to spread the word of God

    Wednesday, July 26 2017 12:14 AM EDT2017-07-26 04:14:13 GMT

    Mike Massey says he's been on a mission since he had a spiritual experience.  He's using pool and the bible to spread the word through his Gospel Trick Shot Ministry.  

    More >>

    Mike Massey says he's been on a mission since he had a spiritual experience.  He's using pool and the bible to spread the word through his Gospel Trick Shot Ministry.  

    More >>
  • Biloxi Shuckers held off the Blue Wahoos 5-4 in Pensacola Tuesday night

    Biloxi Shuckers held off the Blue Wahoos 5-4 in Pensacola Tuesday night

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 10:39 PM EDT2017-07-26 02:39:53 GMT

    The Biloxi Shuckers were coasting under the win column until Pensacola exploded for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to close the gap.  Luckily, Biloxi would close the door on the Blue Wahoos rally.

    More >>

    The Biloxi Shuckers were coasting under the win column until Pensacola exploded for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to close the gap.  Luckily, Biloxi would close the door on the Blue Wahoos rally.

    More >>
  • Bus drivers preparing for school year

    Bus drivers preparing for school year

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 10:38 PM EDT2017-07-26 02:38:14 GMT
    234 Harrison County School District buses hit the roads every day. (Photo source: WLOX News)234 Harrison County School District buses hit the roads every day. (Photo source: WLOX News)

    In less than two weeks most schools across the Coast will be back in session and the roads will be filled with school buses.  Leading up to the first day of school Harrison County offers training for new bus drivers with the focus on a top priority. 

    More >>

    In less than two weeks most schools across the Coast will be back in session and the roads will be filled with school buses.  Leading up to the first day of school Harrison County offers training for new bus drivers with the focus on a top priority. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly